.@americasvoice: Is @marcorubio backing off his own bill?

For Immediate Release:                                                                                     Contact: Michael Earls
June 4, 2013                                                                                                                          202-261-2388

Is Senator Rubio Backing Off His Own Bill?

Range of Voices Chide Him for Criticizing Rather than Defending Gang of Eight Proposal

Washington, DC – Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) continues to call for even more enforcement in the Senate bipartisan immigration bill, a bill he helped craft and signed off on earlier this year.  As the Washington Times reports, “Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the key authors of the Senate’s immigration bill, signaled Monday that he might abandon the bill if parts of it are weakened or if ‘improvements’ aren’t made when it goes to the chamber floor.”


According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “The border and interior enforcement upgrades already in the bill amount to the largest enforcement increase in American history.  In the end, however, immigration reform will be judged a success only if the legislation finds the sweet spot – one that combines strong enforcement with an inclusive and achievable path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in our nation.  Loading up on enforcement in a way that threatens the path to citizenship would undermine the balance carefully forged in the Gang of Eight bill.  Immigration reform not only has to pass in Congress, it has to work when implemented.”


  • United We Dream (UWD), the largest immigrant youth-led network of DREAMer advocates, issued a new statement today in light of Senator Rubio’s recent comments, titled “United We Dream Challenges Senator Rubio To Stop Moving the Goalposts, Show True Leadership.”  UWD Managing Director Cristina Jimenez noted in the statement, “It’s time for Senator Rubio to show leadership and stand up for the immigrant community, rather than moving the goalposts and threatening this historic opportunity to pass immigration reform with a clear path to citizenship.  We expect Senator Rubio to stand by the bill he helped draft, pledging to defend it rather than looking for more opportunities to water it down.  Will Senator Rubio be part of a new chapter of the Republican party—a modern, solutions-oriented party—or will he stick with the sorely outdated GOP?  He needs to remember the message of the election and the power of Latino and immigrant community voters.  DREAMers and families both in Florida and across the country will be watching closely because we will not accept a bill with out-of-control enforcement or an unattainable path to citizenship.”


  • Matt Barreto, the co-founder of Latino Decisions, assesses Senator Rubio’s potential move to make the path to citizenship more difficult in a new post on the Latino Decisions website. Writes Barreto, “If Republicans overplay their hand, a new Latino Decisions poll to be released on Thursday shows that Latino voters won’t buy it.”  The poll asked, “Some in Congress say that providing undocumented immigrants with a pathway to citizenship must wait until after the border is fully secure, while others say we should provide a path to citizenship and deal with border security at the same time.  How about you?  Do you think we should focus only on border security first, or we should address both a path to citizenship and border security together.”  Of the nationwide Latino voter respondents, “81% said do both together — including 66% of Latino Republicans — while only 13% said do border security first.”  The full set of results from this new poll are set to be released on a press call/webinar this Thursday.  Polling experts from Latino Decisions and immigration advocates will analyze how immigration influences the way Latino voters view the two political parties, and what Republicans and Democrats stand to gain or lose depending on how the debate unfolds.


  • Senator Rubio’s hometown newspaper, the Miami Herald, editorializes against driving the bill too far in the enforcement direction and making the path to citizenship less attainableWrites the Herald, “Sen. Marco Rubio, whose role so far has been crucial, believes stronger border enforcement is the key to victory.  He’s right; public support hinges on confidence in secure borders.  But a promised floor fight over defining success in border security should not derail a promising bill, which already contains up to $6.5 billion in new money for technology and fencing.  It’s impossible to seal the almost 2,000 miles of border between the United States and Mexico.  In the end, neither manmade obstacles nor natural barriers like the sea can stop individuals willing to bet everything to win freedom and a better life.  As the Senate debates reform throughout June, lawmakers should bear in mind the human factor behind immigration.”


To join Thursday’s Latino Decisions poll release and related webinar at 12:30 PM Eastern on June 6th, dial: 1-877-888-4319; Passcode: “Latino Vote.”  To follow along to the visual webinar component of Thursday’s presentation, visit: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/connexevent/join?id=LATINOVOTE&role=attend&pw=ATTEND


Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice


America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform 



About David Leopold
Past President American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), In-the-Trenches practicing immigration Attorney, Blogger, Activist, Photographer, Educator, World Traveler. All opinions are my own.

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